Marvel and the Un-Killable Status Quo.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Remember when death held some sort of consequence? Marvel doesn’t because they brought back another character from beyond the grave just to milk their popularity.

The lucky victim this time around is Logan, aka the original Wolverine.

Now, for those out of the loop, Logan’s been dead for about three years with his mantle being passed on to his clone sister Laura Kinney. This was arguably the best way to retire the character, Logan had dozens of stories written about himself and it’s only a matter of time before every character’s mantle is either retired or passed on to some form of a younger hero.

However, nothing stays dead in comics unless your name is Gwen Stacy or Uncle Ben(but in today’s comic book world even those two might not stay dead forever). This because raising characters from beyond the grave has become a way to increase sales revenue, sometimes with a special “event” comic to celebrate the return of a character we were all expecting to return.

Hey, it’s the industry, nothing we can do about it. And full disclosures, I kinda like the fact that they’re bringing Logan back since I felt his death was just another casualty of Marvels “shaking the status-qu0” obsession that they’ve had for about a decade.

Every year it’s something different, Doctor Dooms no longer deformed, all the mutants are dying, a new Thor that’s female, the mutants are no longer dying, Steve Rogers is now a discount Nazis, mutants are dying again, Civil War 2.0 is happening because the movie was successful and the studio needs material for the sequel; need I say more? Because I can, these “life-altering events” happen so frequently that they’re treated like a joke by most people who follow comics on a regular basis.

And not all of these changes were bad, it’s just that some of them don’t feel like they’re going to really stick. Like they’re happening only to make a quick buck before the reset switch gets flipped. Its happened before and it will likely happen again.

There status-quo is just a series of reset buttons that they press every so often.

So when Logan gets the ax, it should be pretty clear that he will be back at some point down the line. And what better way to bring him back than to do it in an event, because “status-quo shaking” has become the norm for this company.

Marvel’s about to alter their status-qu0, again, with a brand re-titling called “Marvel Legacy”. This is an attempt to win back former readers that have been burned by the companies past business practices like constant event spam or the constant cancellation/ relaunch of certain comics.

Granted, this isn’t something Marvel just magically came up with to sell comics, D.C Comics beat them to the punch on that one last year with their “Rebirth” event.

“Rebirth” was a series of comics that were released into the D.C continuity that acted as an apology letter to fans who were burned by previous business decisions that negatively affect both the continuity and feel of the comics.

In short, Marvel wanted to boost sales so they “borrowed” D. C’s idea but stamped a bunch of Marvel characters on it. But what does any of that have to do with Wolverine?

Everything.

Logan was once the cash cow of Marvel, he was so big that his image would appear on comic book covers that had nothing to do with him. No appearance of any kind outside of the cover, he was just there to sell the comic.

Logan was always a crutch for Marvel, he always made money so when he died off not many people took it seriously.

This is a post-Superman death reader base we’re talking about, they don’t believe anyone stays dead for long. So, Marvel decided to make it seem premiant by adding a bunch of “legacy characters”.

Legacy characters are characters created after a famous character, like Superman, dies to continue profiting off their memory or “legacy”.

Superman got a few after his infamous death and Logan was no different.

On top of giving the mantle to Laura, Marvel also introduced “Old Man Logan”, an alternate reality version of Logan from an alternate future. His gimmick is that he has grey hair and intense psychological trauma. Then their is Logan’s alternate reality son Jimmy Harrison that got added in after Marvel forgot that they gave Logan a biological son named Daken who was introduced many years ago. So that’s four people with Logan’s power set that are all related to him in some fashion with one them literally being an older re-skin of the original.

Is this a problem? Yes.

Marvel wants to “shake things up” yet they can’t let go of the magic that was the original Wolverine. So they flood the market with a bunch of discount ones that never truly amount to anything. And this line of reasoning doesn’t apply to Laura since she actually made sense as a successor to the title. When I talk about discount knockoff, I’m talking about the Old Man and Jimmy in the room. Whatever role Old Man Logan filled could have easily been filled by the original, and that is probably what’s going to end up happening very soon.

Since Logan’s coming back, the pool now has five wolverine-like characters running around at the same time. I don’t care if only one of them is technically called Wolverine, that still leaves us with 3-4 claw mutants too many. They need to go.

We cannot afford to keep five characters with the same power set, and in some instances, the same name (thanks Old Man Logan), and still expect the readers not to feel there are too many people with the same gimmick.

They got the original and Laura, there’s no need for Jimmy and the old guy to stick around. Legacy characters only work when the character they are made to remember is dead. Having them and the original stick around for too long just highlights how soulless some characters are by pinning them against the originals.

Just look at Old Man Logan, the fact that his only distinguishing trait is the fact that he’s old should tip most people off that this character doesn’t have a lot going for him. Send him back to the future and never speak of him again.

Normally, I’d let Marvel keep Jimmy for at least the transition period, but let’s be honest, they’d find a way to make him overstay his welcome. For the love of Uatu have a team of time-displaced Xmen that they only recently decided to address after like four years.

If we got the original back, we don’t need the extras to stick around anymore.

Or, if Marvel seriously wants to keep the extras, a move that not even God could explain, they can just not resurrect Wolverine.

Let’s be honest, he’s only coming back just to hype up the Legacy launch, just like how he would hype up every property that this company had no faith in. His return is only reinforcing everything that’s wrong with the state of these comics.

Nothing sticks. Marvel doesn’t have a status quo to shake up and when it comes to writing characters that becomes a problem.

A rich lore can only be built upon events that impact the universe, and that hasn’t happened in a long time. Everything keeps resetting to the point that no one can follow a comic without fear of it being interrupted or canceled by an event. Resetting everything again isn’t going to prove to the readers that Marvel’s learned its lesson.

If Marvel truly wants to show the consumer that they are serious about changing their ways, then they must keep Logan dead.

It’s hard for me, as a fan of Logan, to let him stay dead. I really want him to come back, I’d stomach an event just to get him back. But I know that if the line isn’t drawn now it won’t be drawn ever. I’m not asking them to stop raising characters from the grave, just put a limit on them.

Please, Marvel, let’s have a stable foundation to build something worthwhile. Let’s kill off this bad habit and make it one of the few things that stays dead in this industry.